River News and Updates
Happening Now: Updated February 22, 2018
Construction activities in the RAD continue. See below for the latest updates.
PUBLIC INPUT OPPORTUNITIES
The City Hosts monthly Leadership Round Table meetings, on the third Friday of the month from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM, where leadership from each stakeholder organization is invited to attend to hear updates and provide feedback on public riverfront construction projects, including RADTIP. Leaders from these organizations then share this information with their constituents.
You are invited to meet with City staff and contractors on March 16, 2018 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am (normally, Leadership Round Table) at 14 Riverside Drive. During this meeting you can ask any questions about the updated construction schedule or any other riverfront related questions.
Over the next few weeks you will see City-contractor crews:
- Working on Jean Webb parking area. This will be closed until completed, estimated in May.
- Working on parking lot under the I-240 Bridge
- Working on Culvert behind 14 Riverside Drive
- Sewer and Water utility work will begin March 1st. You can expect intermittent flagging operations and lane closures through the work zone from the railroad trestle to the intersection with Lyman Street.
- Road work on the northern section of RADTIP is also on-going for 2018. We anticipate work under the railroad trestle bridge to begin in March. This means one lane will be closed with a temporary traffic signal directing traffic through the open lane. Traffic impacts are expected to last at least 6 weeks and the impact will be 24/7.
This will be followed by additional flagging and lane closures throughout the project area - road work will begin this spring and continue through 2018.
Construction Schedule - Long Term Plan
- For 2018, the project will focus on completing the French Broad River East Greenway northern section from the old 12 Bones site to just north of the railroad trestle bridge. We anticipate opening the northern section of greenway in fall of 2018, including the two parking lots under the I-240 Bridge.
- Construction of road work on Riverside Drive from Haywood / Craven Street to the old 12 Bones site is scheduled to start in May 2018.
- Construction of road work on Lyman Street is scheduled to start in June 2018.
- Construction on the 5 Points roundabout is scheduled for 2019.
- Construction of the southern section of French Broad River West Greenway is scheduled for March 2020.
Please note these schedules are subject to change to get the work done. We will do our best to notify you of changes in advance whenever possible.
PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT IN THE RAD
The City is working with private developers to coordinate construction in this area. So far, we are working with the Stoneyard Apartments, RADLofts and projects within The Foundy. If you are planning to develop or construct anything in this area, please contact the City to coordinate efforts so as to minimize cost and impact where possible. Contact Dustin Clemens at (828) 232-4580 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT VITALITY AND BUSINESS RESOURCES
Supporting the existing artists and businesses that have made the River Arts District a vital area for creative commerce is important to all of us. We know you are open for business but might have questions or need access to resources that help inform your clients and customers about the transformation to come. Using input from people like you, the City created a Business Kit to help with the basics. The City also signed an agreement with neighborhood associations RADA and RADBA to find ways to help keep commerce strong during the three years of construction, and is providing $25,000 in funding to leverage the community's vision for the continued development of the district. You can see the signed agreement here. The first partnership project for the team is the creation of neighborhood identification pole banners that make it easier to get around the River Arts District. Contact the presidents of those organizations for more information on how you can participate on this or future projects.
14 RIVERSIDE DRIVE
Check out the website for more information on the 14 Riverside Drive Arts and Culture Center.
This building will be leased for short-term arts and culture based uses from May until the end of October. Public restrooms will remain open from dawn until dusk.
Check out any of the following public activities:
April 20 - Creative Sector Summit - (Ticket purchase required to attend)
June thru mid-October - Summer of Glass Exhibit
Mid-October until End October - East West Pop-Up Shop
Until March 26th, you can take a City-sponsored survey from the creators of ArtSpace at www.keepavlcreative.com. This information will be used to inform how folks in the artist community would like to see affordable space for life and work.
Over the course of three years of construction, the RADTIP plans include the removal of approximately five hundred trees. Over fifteen hundred trees (and thousands of new shrubs, grasses and forbs) will be planted before construction is complete.
In addition, the City of Asheville has funding through the Duke Water Resources Fund to complete a riparian restoration plan that will recommend additional landscaping and tree planting projects to consider after RADTIP construction; these projects are intended to improve water quality, provide shade for people and habitat for wildlife, and help keep Asheville’s air clean.
We are committed to consistently communicating with you on the work being done, changes to the schedule and any known traffic impacts. A construction and closures map is available here. You can also sign up for email notifications here.
OTHER TIGER VI PROJECTS
The RADTIP serves as the spine of a planned multimodal system that includes other projects which are construction ready: Livingston Street Complete Streets, and the Town Branch, French Broad River Greenway West and Bacoate Branch (formerly Clingman Forest) greenways. These projects were originally planned to be built in conjunction with the RADTIP as part of the TIGER VI (USDOT) grant-funded program of work. In order to keep the program within the existing budget, the construction of the other projects has been delayed until future funding is available.
TEMPORARY WAYFINDING IN THE DISTRICT
The City contracted with a local designer to produce graphics that can be used to help communicate River Arts District and City project information during construction (2017-2020). After gaining input from community stakeholders, the consultant has completed the designs.
Temporary gateway signage will be installed this fall with additional intra-district signage to be developed with the River Arts District Artists and RAD Business Association.
CAMPING AND HOMELESS POPULATIONS
Due to construction activities in the area camping is no longer safe. There are several emergency shelter and support services to assist anyone camping in the area affected by displacement. City Resource Officers are currently providing this information to campers in the area. If you see someone camping in the area please contact Asheville Police Department at (828) 252-1110. If you need information on additional community services, contact 211.
TRANSPORTATION, ACCESS AND PARKING
Public parking is available at:
- 14 Riverside Drive (unless closed for a private event)
- French Broad River West Greenway Trailhead (Craven and Emma) on the west side of the river.
- The Jean Webb parking lot is scheduled to open in May.
- Parking under the I-240 Bridge is scheduled to open in the fall.
If you have specific questions about how this project impacts you, your business or your property please contact us. You can reach Stephanie Monson Dahl at the Riverfront Office at (828) 232-4502.
Sign up to get email notifications.
This project will construct a 2.2 mile piece of the Wilma Dykeman Riverway, a planned 17- mile multi-modal corridor in Asheville along the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers. In addition to improved intersections and bridge reconstruction, the project includes roadway improvements, sidewalks, bike lanes, greenways, on-street parking, and stormwater improvements along Lyman Street and Riverside Drive adjacent to the French Broad River. The project will improve the horizontal and vertical clearance at the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge, accommodate truck turning movements at the intersection of Craven street and Riverside Drive and improve three railroad crossings in the area.
The estimated cost for purchasing right of way and construction is $37 million. In April 2014, the City submitted an application to Federal Highway Administration to fund six interconnected transportation projects through the TIGER VI Program. In November 2014, the US Secretary of Transportation visited Asheville to announce that Asheville was awarded a 14.6 million dollar federal award to support the development of:
- RADTIP (including Five Points Roundabout)
- Greenways: Bacoate Branch (formerly Clingman Forest), Town Branch and French Broad River West (Construction postponed)
- Livingston Street Complete Street (Construction postponed)
Summer 2016: Preconstruction activities began. Tree clearing occurs in preparation for Duke Energy and other utility relocation.
Winter 2016: Installation of new Jean Webb river access point and Smith Bridge boat launch in partnership with NC Wildlife Resource Commission. Renovation of 14 Riverside Drive. Utility relocation efforts continued.
Fall 2017: Construction is scheduled to begin on RADTIP and will continue through 2020.